Sellers.json and the SupplyChain object – available now for buyers to utilize immediately
Our brand safety manifesto says that … “We do not accept that there is a place in our industry for fraud and veiled practices — we reject the notion that transparency should be considered a ‘value add’ or that fraud is just the cost of doing business. We are committed to communicating and operating openly, honestly — and with the ability for our trading partners to be successful at the forefront of all that we do.”
Which is why, as a participating member of the IAB Tech Lab, SpotX has collaborated with industry leaders to develop solutions for improving ad quality. These programs don’t completely prevent bad actors from making their way into the programmatic ecosystem — however, when used and implemented properly, they make it significantly harder for offenders to flourish.
We’re pleased to announce that two separate but related initiatives to combat deception and shine a light on murky practices are now available for buyers to benefit from.
Sellers.json: From a buyer’s perspective, many times it’s hard to tell who is the actual entity selling an impression programmatically. This initiative identifies the true seller.
As an example, it can be unclear if you buy premiumsite.com directly from Premium Site, an arbitrage network, or anything in between. Sellers.json solves this issue and by leveraging it, buyers have transparency into what business entity is selling an impression.
We encourage buyers to utilize Sellers.json to understand who you’re truly buying inventory from and ensure you’re only buying directly, or via a trusted source. When you look at site/app level reporting, ensure the selling platform and the publisher ID on the selling platform is listed as this will allow you to find out who is selling the sites/apps.
The SupplyChain object: Simply stated, this program is intended to follow the payment trail for any given programmatic transaction.
The goal of the SupplyChain object is to list every business entity being paid for a given ad impression. When leveraged properly, buyers can use this information to block intermediaries that they do not wish to do business with, identify any companies that do not add value, and ensure their media dollars are only flowing to companies they know and trust.
The full spec can be found here.
Here are some best practices from SpotX to help ensure your advertising spend is being delivered to authentic, high-quality media owners:
- Only target and purchase inventory validated and authorized by either ads.txt or app-ads.txt.
- Ensure you start getting reporting, not only at the site/app level but also with the publisher ID and platform included. This allows you to understand who exactly is getting paid for an impression. Once you have the publisher ID and platform, you can look up the ID by visiting the selling platform’s sellers.json file, in SpotX’s case spotx.tv/sellers.json. If you’re buying a property from an entity that you’re unfamiliar with, ensure you have the ability to block that entity without blocking the property entirely.
- Ensure you have control, and visibility into the supplychain object. At first, just ensure you have reporting on supplychain information. Once you’ve become more comfortable with the data, use the information to influence buying decisions. Some examples of this include:
- Whitelist or blacklist entities in the supplychain
- For resold/indirect inventory, ensure the chain is complete
Interested in learning more about how we ensure that SpotX is one of the cleanest ad environments available? Download our brand safety newsletter, The SpotX Guardian.
About the author
Nick Frizzell is the Vice President of Inventory Quality & Planning at SpotX. During his nearly decade-long tenure at SpotX, Nick has focused on ensuring marketers have full transparency into the supply chain and can only access high quality, fraud-free, and brand-safe inventory, while protecting media owners from becoming victims of bad actors. He and his team are also responsible for ensuring compliance with industry standards such as the IAB Tech Lab, TAG, and others. Nick is a recognized leader in the industry and provides education, tools, and resources to ensure bad actors are not only banned from SpotX, but removed across the industry. Nick is a native of Colorado and graduated from Fort Lewis College. Outside of the office, Nick spends most of his time with his wife, daughters, and two dogs enjoying all that Colorado has to offer.